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ScrumMaster as Servant Leader

by | Sep 2, 2017 | Favorites, Management | 0 comments

“The great leader is seen as servant first, and this simple fact is key to his greatness”
– Robert K Greenleaf

The servant-leader is servant first, and then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. This person is sharply different from one who aspires to be leader first. For servant-leaders, to serve – is not a later choice after material possessions or power drive has been assuaged, it is the first and foremost concern. Scrum Master as a servant leader takes care to make sure that other people’s highest priority needs are being served. Does the scrum team, become healthier, wiser, happier? Do those served grow as persons?

Agile Manifesto and by extension Scrum emphasizes ‘sustainable pace’. Making world of work safe for programmers was ulterior motive for development of Scrum framework and Agile approaches like Extreme Programming. Shift from traditional command and control mindset to one of empowerment and autonomy for teams is not immediate. Traditional mindset views sacrifices to quality of life of team members as necessary to success of the larger organization. When organizations transition to Scrum, these dysfunctions amplify. What the organization wants to be (vision) and a clear picture of what it really is (dysfunctions) crystalizes.

Like other Agile approaches, Scrum done well will change organization from within. A servant-leader’s detachment from immediate platitudes liberates creative playfulness. Her service is to highest priorities of both the scrum team and the organization. Traditionally these are often perceived to be in conflict. Serving highest priorities for both the team and larger organization, generates her personal playground of “creative tension”, necessary to fuel internal drive. Tension seeks resolution and detachment brings joy in pursuit. A Scrum Master midwives rebirth of organization.

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